Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cardiovascular Disease, Gynaecology

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Cardiovascular disease is common; therefore we will inevitably see women with cardiovascular disease who wish to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Until the late 1990s oestrogen was thought to protect against coronary heart disease (CHD).  However, an RCT, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found an early, transient increase in coronary events in the combined HRT (oestrogen plus progestogen) arm.  However, the average age of participants in WHI was 63 years old, and more recent subgroup analyses of data from the WHI trials have questioned these results.  HRT use was stratified by age and time since menopause, and this analysis demonstrated more favourable results for all-cause mortality and myocardial infarction in women aged 50-59, and those starting HRT close to menopause (1).  The Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study (DOPS) (2), an open label RCT, showed that HRT was associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease in women of the same age group.

NOTE: this guideline is hosted on the NHSGGC Obstetrics & Gynaecology Handbook website. Clicking on the link below will open the guideline in a new window.



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